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Editor's Note

James R. Adair

Spaceships that travel faster than the speed of light, alien invaders from other worlds, robots that look and behave just like people, federations of planets engaged in intergalactic conflicts, advances in science that make possible both utopian and dystopian visions of the future—all these are elements of science fiction, the focus of many of the poems and prose pieces in the current issue of Voices de la Luna. One hundred years after the birth of sci-fi author extraordinaire Arthur C. Clarke—author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and many other novels and short stories—science fiction is alive and well. The new series Star Trek: Discovery has launched, Blade Runner 2049 was released in October, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi is due out in December, so November 2017 seems like the ideal time to focus our readers’ attention on the genre.

Several poems in this issue, including those of our featured poet, David Bowles, focus on the unknown and the bizarre, often reaching back to the mythological roots that undergird generations of great stories and human thought. Others emphasize the advances, challenges, and dangers of our advancing scientific knowledge, which all too often outpaces our ethical deliberations. Still others explore, in different ways, the lives and experiences of the powerless and marginalized, evoking empathy and offering encouragement.

Several of the prose pieces in this issue explore the realm of sci-fi and its cousin, the fantastic. Read about the experiences of a local writer and producer who has worked—and continues to work—on various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise. Another contributor, a freelance journalist, shares his investigation into the claims of a fellow writer whose encounter with a UFO profoundly changed his life—and that of the investigative journalist. We continue to read the unreal (but totally real) and often hilarious tale of Paul Juhasz’s sojourn in the bowels of an Amazon fulfillment center. Finally, “Retirement” follows the career and musings of Death377 as she goes about her grim business of reaping souls and helping them transition to the next phase of their existence.

A new feature that begins in this issue is our recognition of local and regional visual artists. We have featured such artists in the past, but going forward we plan to draw more attention to their important work on our pages as we celebrate their unique, beautiful, inspiring, and occasionally disturbing view of the world we inhabit. In particular, our cover artist, Samuel Velasquez, offers a vision of the world that dovetails nicely with our sci-fi theme.

Book reviews (including an extended review of Far Out: Poems of the ’60s, edited by Wendy Barker and Dave Parsons), poetry and art therapy, dreams, and topical news and notes round out the offerings in this issue. We also welcome Aztlan Libre Press as our newest small press sponsor of Voices.

Blending knowledge and notion, fact and fiction, with a dollop of the unknown and a large helping of speculation about the future, science fiction as a genre has never been more relevant. Join us as we explore some of its contours in the pages that follow.

 


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Themes for future issues
Feb 2018: Family Tapestries
May 2018: San Antonio's Tricentennial

Current Voices

 

the shiver of startling and dreadful things

David Bowles

broad the cosmos, and dark, with matter and light flung about frenetic, tethered to time and space, shimmering through multiple dimensions, whirling and evolving and coming undone to adhere once more. yet nowhere are there monsters: evil and anxiety and despair do not inhere in any corner of all this vastness of universe: until consciousness arises to reflect the world: sentient minds that snarl into crazed mimics of the natural: people that cobble together wrathful gods and demons and eldritch hells out of inexplicable nightmares: fiends that claw their way out of our brains to populate the virtual sphere in which we learn to live. so madness is born and spreads its bleak and gnarled fingers through the hollow interstices of the real: who knows how many millions of stars have been snuffed by dungeoned consciousnesses that prise at the lid of forever, driven to self-loathing by the shiver of startling and dreadful things?

 

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

Samuel Velasquez

 

Challenger

Bonnie Kennedy

For Christa McAuliffe and Krista, my daughter,

who was in fifth grade and wanted to be an astronaut.

She became a teacher.

Aboard the Challenger, A challenger of children, The only one of seven Who was not a rocket scientist, Or an astronaut, Or a physicist, But everyman. She wore a suit Composed of possibility, A helmet full of wonder, Strapped into a seat Above a heavy payload Chock-full of childhood dreams, And one defective O ring. And in that countdown Of three…two…one, A billion minds Stood on tip-toe Reaching for the stars, A billion hearts believed “That could be me.” Until the seventy-fourth second When fuel and fire united in A Hiroshima-Nagasaki moment That split the atom Between hope and despair, And shocked a billion minds Stunned and speechless. In one blink, The fiery black cloud Vaporized flesh and metal, And sent the shattered Expectations of the world Charred and spewing Back to earth. And the billion hearts That stopped, Who had said to themselves “That could be me”— Knew with certainty In that seventy-fourth second, It was.

 

Jack Treviño and Chase Masterson

Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

 

Boldly Going…

Where Few San Antonians Have Gone Before

Jack Treviño

“You’ll never sell anything to Hollywood, Jack. It’s just too competitive.”

“Forget it, why would they buy stories from someone in San Antonio, when there are tons of writers in LA banging on their doors to get in?”

“Trust me, I know the business. You’re wasting your time and you’ll only be disappointed when it’s all over.”

It’s safe to say a good number of us have heard similar things in our lives. Maybe I was just too naïve or maybe too focused on my goal to allow comments like these to stand in the way of my path to Paramount Pictures, so I decided I was going to try to sell stories to Star Trek. Granted, it was an almost impossible task. My research indicated the odds were about one in ten thousand (per season) that a freelance writer’s work would be considered for the series. With thousands of speculative scripts being submitted, the wait list was considerable. The odds were definitely not in my favor. Nevertheless, something inside me kept telling me that I had to embark on a quest to become part of this worldwide phenomenon.…

 

Autumn Blaze

Andrea Kraus-Lozano

 

 


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